If you think politics is dirty today, it was worse – much worse – in 1951 Philadelphia.
Oscar Cain, an imposing man who works for the Mayor, spends his days visiting businesses across Philadelphia and glad-handing the owners – threatening them when necessary – to make sure they pay proper respect. Preferably in the form of cash donations.
Written by Erik Arneson, ALL ALONE takes place in Philadelphia on a single day: October 29, 1951. At the time, Philadelphia was at the center of political scandal after political scandal. Things were so bad that on October 29, just days before an election to choose a new mayor, the Philadelphia Inquirer ran an editorial – on the front page, no less – with this headline: "Ward Boss Rule A Blight on City:Vote to Smash It!"
Dillon Samuelson's wonderful cover art pays tribute to the pulp magazines of the early 20th century – in particular Black Mask, which ceased publication in 1951.
ALL ALONE is a 4,500-word short story.
For more of Dillon Samuelson’s art: www.behance.net/dsamuelson
For more of Erik Arneson’s stories: www.erikarneson.com
Erik Arneson writes crime fiction. His stories have appeared in the anthologies Kwik Krimes, Shotgun Honey Reloaded: Both Barrels Vol. 2 and Off the Record 2: At the Movies; in the magazines NEEDLE: A Magazine of Noir, GRIFT, and Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine; and on the websites Shotgun Honey, Out of the Gutter Online, BEAT to a PULP, and Near to the Knuckle. He hosts the Title 18: Word Crimes podcast and is an editor for Shotgun Honey.
Dillon Samuelson is a fine artist and freelance illustrator from central Pennsylvania.
Scott Detrow is a former public radio reporter at KQED in Sacramento, California, and WITF in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He now covers the EPA for ClimateWire.